Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mixing It Up

Adam Marsland and I had a productive mixing session on Monday at the studio. We cranked through preliminary mixes for five of the new cuts on the album. This was mainly to mold the dough. We still have a few more sessions to add vocal filigree; percussion and lastly HORNS! I am very excited about our prospects for horn players. Two very respected men are on our sonar/radar for participating. Can't tell you yet, but suffice to say, they both appear on several of my favorite recordings from back in the day. The album is simmering, just got to get that extra spice in there.

Been listening to plenty of new music as this week my preliminary Grammy ballot is due. The award categories were restructured so it feels there are fewer entries than in years past. Anyway, I have my favorites. Perhaps this will be the Beastie Boys' year.

I picked up the new Tom Waits' LP, Bad As Me. Actually bought the vinyl version at Amoeba which included a copy of the CD. Smart marketing, the album insert is worth the price of admission: great photos and easy to read lyrics. Now, Mr. Waits is an acquired taste, which I acquired back in high school in the midst of the Second British Invasion, Prince and non-stop MTV. This new record is amazing and rewarding for the listener on the first go. Many of Mr. Waits' previous works in the past 20 years took several listens to get through the clang, boom, bang. I've played the album clear through four times; it's his most "pop" work since Rain Dogs (1986). Several tracks immediately rank with his best: "Back In The Crowd," "Satisfied," "Talking At The Same Time." The album is an encyclopedia of Western musical styles (his guitarists are Marc Ribot, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos and Keith Richards) with Tom's dry humor and sharp writing anchoring each song. There are several artists that influence me without their influences appearing in my own work, Mr. Waits is at the top of that list. But I hope what comes through is his sense of daring and commitment to a song.